THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Tuesday, October 14 1975
Page Two THE MICHIGAN DAILY Tuesday, October 14, 1975
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1216 S. UNIVERSITY
BLEAK SEASON FOR LUMBERJACKS:
Loggers hurt by Strikes; econom
ESCANABA, Mich. (P) - The
forests are a vibrant patchwork
of color across North America
now. But for the loggers who
earn their living in these for-
ests, there is an extra chill in
the autumn winds.
Many of the 100,000 loggers
across the U.S. and Canada are
being squeezed out of business
between a sagging timber mar-
ket and a rash of strikes by mill
"IT'S PRETTY desperate in
the Upper Peninsula," said the
wife of one out-of-work logger.
"These men have no union, no
SUB, (Supplemental Unemploy-
ment Benefit) fund like the auto
workers, no nothing. And they
don't qualify for welfare be-
cause they are all mostly self-
Walkouts by pulp and paper
workers have shut down mills
all across the U.S. and Canada.
Canada's daily production of
newsprint has been cut 42 per
cent by strikes, according to the
Canadian Paperworkers Union.
U.S. strike figures are incom-
plete, but the picture here in
this Upper Peninsula town typi-
fies the situation.
MEAD CORP'S giant Escan-
aba mill has been picketed by
its 1,000 workers for the past
four months in a dispute over a
Even before the strikes, busi-
ness was off, reflecting the gen-
eral state of the nation's econ-
"Tissues and sanitary prod-
ucts are going about full tilt," a
spokesman for the American
Pulpwood Association said in
"THE SLOWDOWN in the
economy has hurt the rest of the
industry, however, especially
packaging and fine papers."
The downturn in the automo-
bile industry made a big im-
pact, the spokesman said. When
car sales are up, there is more
demand for brochures and glos-
sy stock. And magazines - an-!trucks and giant tractors called,
other big market for fine pa- skidders for pulling felled logs!
per - generally get more auto- out of the woods.
motive advertising, he said. Bigger operators also have
''People buy more replace-I been investing in feller-bunch-
ment parts, too, when times are ers, a crane-like machine that
good," he said, "and that means snips off a whole tree like a
more packages and containers large pair of scissors.
We arry a lge selection of Ortho
DELFEN contraceptive foam
wpplicator & refill
" DELFEN contracptive
ORTHO- CREME w/
applicator &8 refill
ORTHO - GYNOL
reg $2.72.. NOW $2.19!
U.S. MILLS had used only 37
million cords of timber through
July, according to Pulpwood As-
sociation figures, compared with
44.5 million cornds through the
first seven months last year.
The Canadian Pulp and Paper
Association said its figures
showed 7.2 million tons of paper
and paper bond had been.
shipped through July 1975, down'
from 8.3 million tons from the
same period in 1974. Shipment
of wood pulp was down from 4.61
million tons to 3.6 million tons
for the same period, Canadianl
Caught in the middle is the
logger, that oft-romanticized
figure who makes his living in
the woods cutting trees.
LOGGING HAS changed con-
siderably since the days when a
man needed only a double-blad-
ed axe, a pair of broad shoul-
ders and the stamina to spend a
winter in a remote lumber
The camps are gone. Logging
today is mechanized, and most
of the loggers have considerable
investments in heavy equipment
such as chainsaws, flatbed
',THE LOGGER is in a real
Catch-22," said Larry Curran,
head of the welfare office in Es-
canaba. "They've got all that
equipment to pay for, but be-
cause they're basically small
businessmen, they're not eligible
for welfare unemployment in-
time if at all possible."
In the tiny hamlet of Germ-
fask, deep in the heart of the
Seney National Wildlife Refuge,
a logger's widow and her two
sons are concerned about their]
future-and their independence.
When Leonard Gager died,
about a year ago, after a life-
time of logging, he had nothing
to leave his widow, Voretta, but
a lifetime of memories.
WITH HIS two sons, 38-year-
old Roger and 18-year-old Dar-
win, Gager was his own small
company. All they had was a
skidder and a couple of chain
'The logger is in a real catch-22, they've got all that equipment to
pay for, but because they're basically small businessmen, they're
not eligible for welfare unemployment insurance .. The timber
situation is so bad the banks aren't even bothering to repossess the
. ..................::4:. .............. ...t. rW .S .. a S.. f > .'}A., . . ......a n
public, just returned from the
Pacific Northwest and *Montana
where he went looking for work.
"We were thinking of going
out there if we found work," An-
tilla said. "But it's not any bet-
ter. out there. The market is
The biggest logging operation
in this region belongs to Earl St.
John. And his problems parallel
those of the Gager family, only
on a grander scale.
ST. JOHN had 75 men working
for him in 1974, compared to
just 24 now. He owns four feller-
bu n chers "and they're all
iii s iiisi - aj/""w" i""""
WHAT ARE YOUR CHANCES
HEART DISEASE ?
The Health Service has established a screening
program (Hyperlipidemia Clinic) to identify
and help persons with "risk factors" which
could lead to the development of heart disease.
A' "risk factor" is a condition or behavior that
increases your chances of having a disease,
in this case heart disease. By preventing or
reducing these risk factors, you can reduce the
likelihood of developing heart disease. Some
risk factors which will be evaluated are:
-the level of fats (lipids) in the blood
-high blood pressure (hypertension)
-overweight, lack of exercise and
The evaluation will include laboratory tests and
completion of a short medical and personal his-
tory questionnaire. If any risk factors are pres-
ent, medical assistance will be available to help
bring them under control.
INTERESTED PERSONS SHOULD CALL 764-
8325 FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO
REGISTER FOR THE PROGRAM.
"They never paid in, so they
can't take out."
The timber situation has be-
come so bleak the banks aren't
even bothering to repossess the
"WE CERTAINLY don't want
the equipment," said Arnie
Makie, president of the First
National Bank in Escanaba.
"We're going case-by-case, but
the 'board has been very under-
standing on the loans. We try to
give these fellows extensions of
saws. They didn't even own a
truck. But they got by.
The sons, who know no other
work, would like to carry on.
"The boys are a little behind
in their bills right now," Ms.
Gager said. Roger tended bar
some last winter. He's got a
small skidding job on a farm
right now, but before that he
just didn't do much of anything.
He just took odd jobs where he
could find them.
"HE'S CALLED a couple of
the people he owes, trying to
buy time," she added.
Darwin said he has taken a,
job in the wildlife refuge, "cut-
ting brush for the government.
But it's only until December.
Then I don't know what I'm go-
ing to do.".
Darwin figuies he's $1,600 in
debt. "That's a lot of money, es-
pecially if you don't know when
you're going to start making
money again. We never had a
fixed income, but we cut an av-
erage of 15 cords a day at $32
a cord for the good wood."
OSCAR ANTILLA, 42, of Re-
He said about. 20 per cent of
the men he had. to lay off still
"Some went into construc-
tion," St. John said, "and some
went back to the' cities where
they came from in the first
ST. JOHN said the loggers are
bitter because they see strikers
at the ;paper mills getting' food
stamps.Andr .welfare payments
"The government' is subsidiz-
ing strikers," St. 'John said,
"and there's no way that's fair."
He said one reason he was
able to survive was because the
people he kept on are versatile.
"WE WERE able to go back
to working chain saws,, clearing
land for farmers," St. John
said. "I hated to do it, but I had
to sell sonie land I owned in or-
der to keep my guys going.
"But you can only go so far
'The Mead mill, which once
wrote "paychecks for $500,000
See LOGGERS, Page 6
L Jf. Ol ~ ..D i
and get--- 0' 0
40 OFF on;
4 s oE
w /ad $1 19'
in the unio, 510 S. 4 Str"rtt
4. ~ ~ Op ,%opeMo.Fri. 9-9 Saf t} Si un.!2
r _ .
UAC Concert Co-op Presents
Wed., Oct. 22, Crisler Arena, 8 p.m.
RESERVED SEATS $7.00, $6.00, $5.00
Tickets available at UAC box office in lobby of Mich-
igan Union, 10:30-5:30 daily (763-2071). Sorry, no
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